Perfumed cocktails captivate the senses

  • August 7, 2017
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Rum Row’s Up in Smoke offers guests a sip of local Cuban-Key West culture. Del Maguey Vida, local Aged Key West Raw & Unfiltered Legal Rum, ginger syrup and fresh lime create an enticing flavor while actual tobacco from Rodriguez Cigars rims the glass for aroma.

Taste is always an important factor when it comes to a proper cocktail, but smell is proving to be of great significance too. Bartenders and mixologists around the world are adding a scent component to drinks by torching herbs, adding tincture sprays, smoke-infusing glasses, and even mimicking key perfume notes with food grade perfumes, and spirits, flowers and herbs.

Tony Conigliaro, founder of Drink Factory, a beverage research and development laboratory in East London, and owner of 69 Colebrooke Row and Bar Termini, has been experimenting with perfume cocktails since 2004. “Working within the format of a food grade perfume means that we can layer a number of flavours and aromas, which provides structure to the flavour profile of a drink,” says Conigliaro. “The concentration of a perfume means that we can add great complexity to a drink without changing the volume or balance between basic tastes such as sweet and sour.”

An example of the trend, Fragrances, a bar at The Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, is dedicated to crafting cocktails that smell like iconic fragrances. Instead of selecting based on spirit and taste preference, drinks are chosen solely on smell.

Browse the gallery above to see unique perfumed cocktails around the world.